By Iqbal Jassat – Johannesburg
As South Africa looks back at an exciting and stimulating week of solidarity for the Palestinian cause during “Israeli Apartheid Week”, it’s people can be grateful that unlike the United States, the local Zionist lobby does not possess a stranglehold on government policies.
The type of paralysis evident in American domestic and foreign policies for decades has regularly been traced by researchers and historians to Israel and its lobby. Though there is a gradual yet substantive shift currently underway in President Obama’s second term, analysts warn that the damage caused to America’s interest by being forced, cajoled and blackmailed by a Zionist agenda may take years to reverse if the trajectory remains on course.
The example of Iran as a case study is quite revealing. And if Israel’s role in the sabotage of Egypt’s popular revolution which saw a military coup deposing the country’s only democratically elected government is studied in the context of Iran, the Zionist regime emerges as a villain in both scenarios.
Israel’s anti-Iran campaign began when a trusted ally of it and the West was overthrown during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Like the Mubarak dictatorship, the Shah of Iran was also heavily funded and militarily equipped by the United States to function as its regional policeman in cahoots with Israel and other client-states in the Middle East. Unfortunately for Israel, the revolutionary zeal and formidable leadership of Imam Khomeini to inspire and mobilize defense of Iran was a major impediment to secure the return of the Pahlavi Dynasty. Regrettably the same cannot be said of Egypt.
The military leadership of General al-Sisi has not hidden its pro-Israel stance. In fact it unashamedly demonstrates its alliance by imposing a severe embargo on Palestinian rights whereby the siege on Gaza and the banning of Hamas converge neatly with Israel’s dictates. These punitive measures are merciless, ruthless and in direct conflict with International Humanitarian Law. Israel of course cares less since its own track record in relation to civilized norms and conventions pertaining to the Occupation of Palestine remains dismal.
“Israel Apartheid Week” [IAW] since its inception a decade ago, has sought to inculcate a global consciousness amongst civil societies about the terrible plight of Palestinians resulting from abominable discriminatory policies applied by Israel. Being action-oriented, its goal to compel change is founded on strategies of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS], modeled on the highly successful anti-apartheid movement during South Africa’s freedom struggle.
If social media is a fair barometer of the remarkable upsurge experienced during SA’s recent IAW, then certainly it can be assessed to have been successful beyond expectations.
What follows next remains a challenge for both the organizers and enthusiastic supporters from student formations and trade unions to the ruling African National Congress [ANC] to sustain and grow BDS. Declarations aside, it remains equally challenging to anticipate and quantify a severe backlash from a wounded Zionist lobby.
Whilst it is true that their ability to blindfold the ANC government is no walk in the park, especially at a time when SA’s media has and continues to unmask corruption within the private and public sectors, Zionist history in this sphere does give cause for concern.
Subterfuge and crafting of false flag operations are inherent in Political Zionism designed to draw countries into its strategic web. Again the American experience vis-à-vis Iran stands out. During the 90s, the Israeli scholar Israel Shahak alerted readers in the US that news stories in the Hebrew press urged that America be “persuaded” to “contain” Iran by adopting a tougher policy.
One particularly revealing article is documented in Donald Neff’s “Fifty Years Of Israel” which clearly laid out the Israeli position. It quoted a former intelligence official Daniel Leshem as saying that Israel should try to “create the situation so that it will appear similar to that of Iraq before the Gulf crisis…We should hope that, emulating Iraq, Iran will…start a war [with its Arab neighbours]…This prospect is, in my view, quite likely, because the Iranians lack patience. But if, nevertheless, they should refrain from starting a war, we then should take advantage of their involvement in the Islamic terror which already troubles the entire world…We should take advantage of this by explaining persistently to the world at large that, by virtue of its involvement in terrorism, no other state is as dangerous as Iran.”
Since SA is acknowledged as a catalyst in developing and driving solidarity campaigns for Palestine with distinct anti-Apartheid characteristics and the endorsements of high profile struggle icons, expect Israel and its surrogate lobbyists to devote more “energy” in order to derail this movement.
– Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the Media Review Network, Johannesburg – South Africa. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com and follow him through Twitter: @ijassat.